Wooly Mammoth Essay, Research Paper
The wooly mammoth
The Woolly Mammoth was a species of elephant that lived from about 2.5 million years ago until as recently as 10,000 years ago. It lived primarily in areas that were very cold, and during the last ice age, that would have been most of the entire planet. They were found in Asia, Europe and North and South America.
In appearance they resembled today’s elephants with the exception of having larger tusks and were covered with fur. Their height ranged anywhere from 8 to 14 feet tall. Woolly Mammoths are one of the few animals from that have been discovered in tact and allowed scientists to study them up close. In light of recent data about their way of life, they probably had a lifespan was comparable to today’s African elephant which is about 50-60 years. Given the conditions that they lived in the average life span could have been shorter, most of the specimens that were found have been younger animals with the majority under ten years of age.
They had a long coat of fur that had two layers to it. The first layer kept the animal protected from the elements much like a windbreaker and the second layer which was closer to the skin kept the animal’s body temperature constant. The two combined layers of fur allowed for maximum heating of the animal even in extreme conditions.
They ate a lot of the same types of things that modern elephants eat, things such as leaves, roots, and any other types of vegetation that they could find. It is assumed that during the time of the great snowdrifts they used their trunks to move snow and ice to get vegetation below.
No one knows why they died out, possibly it was their inability to deal with the extreme temperature changes after the end of the last ice age or it may have simply been something that we can blame man for. Pictures of Mammoths have been found in caves all over the world, it is possible that man could have been responsible for the mass extinction of such a hardy animal.
A completely intake specimen was found in 1901 in Siberia and several more have been found in Alaska and Russia since then. Currently steps are being taken to try to clone one in the lab.